4

... And that she really isn't how my mother sees her?

I have a girlfriend whom I love very much, we've been going out for quite some time but we kept our relationship a secret from my parents. My parents found out when my mother looked through my call logs and saw I was texting and calling a number everyday, and she had previously met my girlfriend unofficially when she picked me up for school and had always been suspicious until she put two and two together

I have brought up what I believe but they just think I'm young and being stupid, and keep in mind me and this girl are only a few months apart in age.

My parents are incredibly overprotective and so when they found out they flipped because they say that I'm not ready for a relationship (keep in mind I'm in college) that this relationship will distract me 100% and I won't be anyone in life. My parents think that she's distracting me from school, but really it's just the end of the year and I'm getting lazy as anyone would.

The person who feels this the strongest is my mother, she's hell bent that I break up with my girlfriend, but the thing is, my girlfriend has given her absolutely no reason to do this. My mother says she's bossy and ugly, but she's none of these things. My parents are both Latin America and obviously grew up with different views on everything.

I can't leave the house because ultimately I'm still dependent on my parents and I exactly say any of this to them because they think she's a distraction to me. I don't want to disrespect my parents, but I don't want to break up with my girlfriend over something outside of our relationship.

How do I communicate that my girlfriend isn't a distraction?

  • 1
    Hi Remmy, welcome to IPS! I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble getting your parents to accept your girlfriend. I think we're going to need a bit more information to be able to properly help you. I have a few questions to get started. How did your parents find out about the relationship? Have you tried talking to them about your relationship at all? In the meantime, your question may get put on hold while we get all the information we need to answer it. If that happens, don't despair, we'll be able to reopen it when the time comes. – Rainbacon May 4 at 16:45
  • Could you add a country tag, please? The answer could be culture-dependent. Also, have your parents ever met your girlfriend? How old are the both of you? Do you have any older siblings or cousins (or other relatives) who could speak up for you? – Llewellyn May 4 at 17:12
7

My parents think that she's distracting me from school, but really it's just the end of the year and I'm getting lazy as anyone would.

My first suggestion here is that you start communicating using a 'show, don't tell' approach. I've been dealing with my parents for 27 years now, and it always worked best to have my actions match my words. So keep putting effort into school, don't let your grades slip. Perhaps even involve your girlfriend in the studying (can you study together?), you'll get to spend time together and your parents can't complain about your grades getting lower (if you don't let her distract you too much while studying).

Hopefully, by showing your parents that having a girlfriend doesn't influence your grades, you can convince them more than by saying 'She's not a distraction, I'm just lazy'.

I don't want to disrespect my parents, but I don't want to break up with my girlfriend over something outside of our relationship.

You don't have to break up just because your parents are worried about school. I recommend you talk with your girlfriend about this. Don't tell her that your mom calls her bossy and ugly, as you eventually might want her and your mom to be friendly. But you can tell her that your parents are hesitant, that they are worried about your schoolwork, that they are what is keeping you back and that you're working on it. If she is a great friend, she will understand.

My (Dutch) parents were similar to yours (though I wouldn't call them overprotective). I remember being in school, and my parents not being fond of me spending a lot of time with my friends. Like I said above, keeping good grades and showing that those friends weren't a distraction is the first important step. Keeping open communication with those friends helped them understand that I could not always be there, and made sure I did not lose any friendships because of my parents' antics.

My mother says she's bossy and ugly, but she's none of these things.

That's the only part of your question that I don't really have an answer to. Hopefully, your mom wasn't really thinking when she said it, and with time, will change her opinion. Perhaps if you keep up in school, your parents will see your girlfriend in a better light. Perhaps if your mother brings the bossiness up again, you can ask her about examples, then talk about these examples with your girlfriend too. Maybe your girlfriend can change her behavior a little when around your parents to avoid upsetting your mom, maybe not.

Hopefully, all will turn out well when your parents realize that your girlfriend isn't a distraction and that she's just a sign that you're growing up. You sound like you're still young, so I would not yet worry too much about the future where your parents don't change their mind.

  • OP mentions that they have been dating for some time so it's possible that there's already some grades to show. – Lux Claridge May 6 at 13:52
  • 1
    @LuxClaridge I didn't count on that due to that first sentence I quoted which claims 'I'm getting lazy as anyone would'. So if there are grades to show, I assume they're not as great as the ones from the start of the year, and that the decline in grades is correlated by OPs parents as being a result of dating for some time... – Tinkeringbell May 6 at 13:58
  • Fair enough. I took that more like since midterms OP was slacking, but there's a whole year of relationship and okay grades before that. (Assuming that there was a whole year, of course) – Lux Claridge May 6 at 14:17
1

I come from a very long power struggle with an overprotective relative. I wanted to stick to my relationship choices because it gave me the impression of exercising my freedom. In the end, as I depended on this relative, I had not much of freedom, and my dating choices were just a rebellious act. My relative wanted the best for me, they invested their time and wealth in giving me the opportunities they have not had, and they lent their wisdom too, which, coming from an older person, sounded to me like a basket of unwarranted restraints.

When a dear one expresses the concern that I might be blindsided by some decision I have taken, my first reaction now is to wonder what amount of truth is in their words. It turns out that often there is some, if not complete truth.

Try to consider the following:

  1. that your parents may be right;
  2. that your parents may be wrong, but your behaviour is giving the impression that they may be right;
  3. that your parents may be wrong, that your behaviour is excellent, and that you are simply in a streak of bad luck at school.

Before you even engage in a conversation with your parents, you should give yourself time and distance to argue in favour and against each of the points above. For instance: what are the facts that an objective observer would use to decide that your parents may be right? Or, what are the facts that an objective observer would use to decide that your behaviour is giving the impression that your parents may be right, despite them being wrong? and so forth...

Once you have established the facts, you can sit down with your parents. Acknowledge the facts which make them look right. Then bring forward the facts that justify why you think that they are wrong.

A very important lesson for my experience with my relative was also that anything beyond the norm of what they had in mind, or what they had experienced, required extra effort on my side to earn it. That was regardless of my desire for it, or my right to have it. When I wanted to travel during the holidays, I needed to double my home chores, to show that I was independent enough (and beyond that) to take care of myself. When I wanted to date my significant other, I needed to double my school efforts to show that no matter the time we spent together, no time was missing from my studies.

Therefore, a justification such as "it is the end of the year and it is normal to be lazy" is not a valid defense. Rather, it is counterproductive. You are feeling lazy, and, in addition, you are dividing your time between studies and seeing someone. That is not going to convince anyone that you are mature enough to manage this relationship. If you want something, then you need to work the extra mile to earn it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.